10 Easy Ways To Show Kindness

July 20, 2009 at 8:57 pm | Posted in The World Around Us | Leave a comment
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Have you ever noticed how the smallest thing can brighten up someone’s day? (or completely darken it?!) I’m challenging you to do each of the following ten things in the next week, all with the intention of serving others and turning their days around.

1. Give a sincere compliment to someone you just don’t get along with.

Whether it’s a customer at your job, or your mother-in-law, find something (a cute necklace, new hairstyle, pretty smile, good taste in books…ha) nice to say to them. You’ll be surprised at how much they’ll warm up to you with one simple sentence.

2. Be courteous.

If you’re approaching a busy red light and someone needs to turn past you into a shopping center/etc, stop early so they aren’t blocked by traffic. You’re not going to get anywhere anyway- why not just let them go? (as I write this I wish the people who share my commuter route would take heart… alas)

3. Hold your tongue.

When you’re in a ridiculous customer-service situation- from Burger King to Comcast- remember that the person you’re speaking with may represent the company, but he is not responsible for their wrongdoings. Speak calmly and nicely, even if this is the third day the mistake has happened. Being a jerk is not going to get the problem solved faster, and is just going to make the employee stressed out over something he didn’t do. (of course if the guy acts ridiculous then you’re excused and may show your rage ;O )

4. Speak praise.

If your hair stylist/photographer/waiter/llama salesperson does a good job, tell them. But tell their boss too. Too often, it seems, do we keep out mouths closed about good service- only to jump to complain about bad service. A simple call or email to the district manager or owner can help a struggling employee out- all while placing them higher up on their boss’ totem pole.

5. Send a real greeting card.

I’m honestly surprised Hallmark is still in business- no one ever takes the time to actually write a letter, seal an envelope, and stick it in the mailbox. I love actual cards and letters and it makes me sad that no one ever sends them anymore 😦 So send a card to someone- whether it’s to thank them, wish them a happy anniversary, or just say hi!

6. Listen for someone to share a need- and then fill that void.

Maybe your aunt is wishing for a date night but can’t afford a babysitter- or maybe someone is just struggling and could use an encouraging talk over dinner. People are always hurting- you just have to listen and be willing to help.

7. Help the underdog.

As an example, two young kids were running a lemonade stand on my street corner last week. It was hot and there obviously wasn’t much business. If I had just stopped and bought a cup of lemonade, imagine the happiness that would have resulted from 50 cents.

8. Leave no mess behind.

When you try clothing on, place it neatly on the hanger and zip it back up. Then hand it back to your sales associate with a big thank you and a smile- when I worked in retail this never happened and we were stuck cleaning up the huge messes shoppers left behind.

9. Sacrifice some time to help others.

From visiting a sick neighbor to feeding the homeless, each small act helps to change the world and make us a more selfless person.

10. Most importantly, show kindness to those you love.

This is the hardest, because you have to get creative and come up with a new way!

Take the challenge and post your success stories below 🙂 I’ll feature a chosen commenter and their blog in one of my future posts!

Coming soon: 10 Easy Ways to Show Kindness with Technology. Subscribe for all the latest news!

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What’s more important… really?

July 15, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Posted in The World Around Us | 2 Comments
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I’m a fan of the Commercial Appeal Facebook page, and I follow it on Twitter as well. While sometimes slightly biased, CA usually does a good job of presenting local and national news in a prompt, professional, and concise way.

I was (not so) surprised to read today about the closing of Family Services of the Mid-South. What has served as a major counseling and crisis help center since 1893 has now shut its doors due to lack of funding.

While not surprised, because it’s quite obvious people are a. more selfish/stingy than ever before with money, and b. the city of Memphis has never had its financial priorities straight, this news saddens me.

Drug crises. Child abuse. Domestic and sexual violence. Suicide. These are just some of the crucial life events that Family Services assisted to prevent, and also (sadly more often) deal with the aftermath.

  • Every 5 seconds someone is sexually assaulted
  • Over 12 million American adult women have been victims of forcible rape.
  • In 2006 alone, Memphis city police reported 5,898 cases of assault.
  • Suicide takes the lives of nearly 30,000 people a year.
  • While many people will simply blame the city, our incompetent mayor, and the “selfish rich,” I have to wonder about the rest of us. We have houses, don’t we? And food? I don’t mean to get on a rant about giving away all that we have, but there comes a point where we really have to evaluate how attached we are to our possessions. Check this out: As of last Thursday, the city of Los Angeles had already collected about $17,000 from ordinary citizens to help deter the cost of Michael Jackson’s memorial service (which cost roughly a million dollars, by the way). And in 2006, nearly 82 million dollars were spent on cigarettes.

    …Some of you are feeling pretty good right now. After all, you don’t care about Michael Jackson and you’ve never smoked in your life. Need I point out the hundreds of dollars each person spends MONTHLY on items they don’t really need? Movies/fast food/the 60th pair of shoes/STARBUCKS? We all waste money.

    Don’t get me wrong. We all have the right to spend our money as we please. But when one of the few places in Memphis for abuse and rape victims to safely escape to is closed because no one cares enough to forgo one cappuchino a week, it’s time to rethink how much of an impact we’re truly having on the world.

    Please consider donating your time or your money to one of Memphis’ non-profits. Why take the time to complain about our city’s downfall and crime statistics if you’re not even willing to roll up your sleeves and help clean up?

    Do something to help your community? Please comment and share your story!

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